Dr. Barlow considers the Sesquicarbonate of Ammonia as the most clearly indicated and the most efficacious remedy in this disease. The following is the theory on which he formed this opinion. He believed that the sugar found in diabetic urine is not necessarily connected with, or dependent upon, perverted action of the kidneys, but that it is formed in the primAe viAe, in the early stage of the process of san-guinification. The saccharine particles of food are not changed in the stomach, whilst the starch, which most articles of vegetable diet contain in considerable quantity, not having its peculiar properties annulled, and its proneness to saccharine fermentation being favoured by the warmth and moisture of the stomach, is converted into sugar, which, being readily soluble, is absorbed into the circulation. The sugar, thus absorbed, takes the place of the proper and higher product, Albumen, and being unable to perform the duties of the latter in the system, is eliminated by the kidneys. According to this view, the first object will be, of course, to avoid all saccharine and amylacious articles of food; the second, to introduce into the stomach a highly azotized substance, and, at the same time, by a diffusible stimulant, to exalt the assimilating powers of that organ; both these indications appear likely to be obtained by Ammonia. Whatever may be the therapeutical value of Ammonia in the treatment of Diabetes, and Dr. Barlow's expectations have been by no means universally confirmed, it will be remembered that the more modern theory of the disease refers its production to disordered function of the liver secondary to lesion of the nervous system. Dr. Barlow advises the Sesquicarbonate, in doses of gr. v. - viij., with a few drops of T. Opii, in some light bitter infusion, every 6 hours. At the same time, animal food, together with cruciferous vegetables, as greens, brocoli, turnip-tops, &c, should be taken freely. On this latter point, Dr. Barlow places much stress. He relates cases illustrative of the decided benefit to be derived from this treatment.
* On Diseases of the Heart, p. 414. Dublin Hosp. Reports, vol. iv.
Guy's Hosp. Reports, vol. x.
149. In the advanced stages of Pneumonia, when the inflammatory symptoms have subsided, and it becomes of importance to promote expectoration, Dr. Williams* states that he has seen this indication well answered by the Sesquicarbonate of Ammonia, in doses of gr. v. or more, every one or two hours, as the urgency of the case may require. He advises its exhibition in Infus. Senega?, and from ev. - x. of T. LobeliAe InflatAe may be advantageously added.
150. In Chronic Bronchitis and Catarrhal Affections occurring in debilitated constitutions, this salt, given in such doses (gr. xxx. - gr. lx.) as to produce an emetic effect, will often be found serviceable. In smaller doses (gr. v. - x.) it is also very useful in that form of Catarrh which Laennec designates "suffocative " (Dr. Williams). Dr. Copland advises it in small doses (gr. iij. - vj.), combined with Camphor and Ipecacuanha.
151. In the advanced stages of Croup, the Sesquicarbonate has been prescribed as a stimulant, expectorant, and occasionally as an emetic, in order to promote the discharge of effused matter. When the patient is greatly debilitated, it may prove useful, but some caution is necessary in its use.
* Cyc. Pract. Med. vol. iii. p. 445. Ibid.
Dict of Med. vol. i. p. 297.